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Boy in tent hospice fundraiser gets soldier's sleeping bag

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image copyrightRachael Woosey
image captionMax Woosey has been sleeping outside since the beginning of the first lockdown in March

A mother whose son died while serving in Afghanistan has donated his sleeping bag to a boy camping outside for his local hospice.

Max Woosey, 11, has been sleeping in his back garden for more than 270 days in memory of two family friends.

Private Joe Berry died in 2020 and his mother gifted his winter sleeping bag to the fundraiser from Braunton, Devon.

Lisa Snow said her son was also a camping fanatic and would have been "thrilled to help Max" fundraise.

Max has raised more than £105,000 for North Devon Hospice which cared for his neighbour Rick and his wife in their final days.

image copyrightLisa Snow
image captionLisa Snow, who donated her son's sleeping bag, said she was reminded of Joe

Ms Snow said seeing the story on the news "instantly reminded me of Joe".

"There were so many similarities that I felt it would be nice to reach out and offer some help with winter."

Mr Berry died on 22 February, aged 21, just two weeks before he was due to return home from Afghanistan.

"We have all of Joe's kit, I don't want it just sat in the loft.

"I'd much prefer that it went to some use and I couldn't think of any better use than to help Max out with his fundraising."

image copyrightLisa Snow
image captionPrivate Joe Berry joined the army aged 18

Ms Snow said: "What Max is doing is just amazing, so Joe would certainly approve."

Max started his fundraising adventure in March at the beginning of lockdown and plans to sleep outside for a year.

He said: "I am so proud to say that I will be using a soldier's sleeping bag, because I'm just a boy sleeping in a tent whilst he was brave and served his country."

The money raised has helped the hospice provide care throughout the pandemic, despite the national restrictions cancelling other fundraising activities, said hospice CEO Stephen Roberts.

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